Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

> Weird that they don't publish the numbers themselves. I wonder what the reason might be...

They're a private company. They're under no obligation to provide the public with their financial data.

> They're a private company


"The Pirate Bay was started by the swedish anti copyright organization PiratbyrÄn in the late 2003, but in October 2004 it separated became run by dedicated individuals. In 2006 the site changed it's ownership yet again. Today the site is run by an organisation rather than individuals, though as a non-profit. The organisation is registered in the Seychelles and can be contacted using the contact form."


So we just have to trust them that it is non-profit since they don't actually want to be transparent about their income and expenses.

I don't buy it.

How do you not profit off BILLIONS of ad impressions a month?

I can understand some other website believing TPB's a penniless, selfless endeavor but people here should be able to translate "top 100 website" and "multiple ads per page" into more than just operating expenses. It's not like they're YouTube serving terabytes of traffic a second, they also have no support, no shipping, and of course they sure don't have any expense producing content.

There's content on that site that no advertiser wants to be associated with, that's why.

You would probably get a terrible conversion rate to given most people are visiting the site so they don't have to pay for things.

By serving BILLIONS of pages a month, presumably.

Especially since they don't even have to host any big amounts of data, neither transmit it. Only have lots of links.

Although they are technically a non-profit, the people that run it are probably getting nice salaries off of the hard work of others.

The same can be said for any merchant: selling the work of others without creating anything yourself. If this makes you scream, you should be very angry at supermarkets.

The supermarket pays the companies and people who produce the products they sell. When it comes to piracy, people consistently come up with the worst analogies.

Expanding on that idea, our entire economy is based off of people profiting from the works of others. Sales places like Wal-Mart profit off of the products produced by factories (assume for a moment that Wal-Mart doesn't own these factories). These factories profit by producing things invented by people who most likely don't take any part in the ownership of the factory.

The difference between these types of people (the merchants, builders, etc.) and the Pirate Bay is that the merchants give a portion of their profit back to the people that they are profiting off of. The Pirate Bay does not pay a single penny to the owners of the music that they dispense.

Merchants don't pay for their goods as a proportion of their profit. Unless you mean streaming music and movie services, which for some reason get to be a special case.

Yeah, but at the same time, there is an added value provided by the TPB: it indirectly promotes creators through their distribution channel, thus raising their awareness and popularity, just like Radio. It's not a zero sum game. That's why there are also a number of artists in favor of P2P networks, because they clearly see a way to increase their exposure and therefore grow their audience.

The point is that thepiratebay claims not to be a merchant

"The same can be said for any merchant: selling the work of others without creating anything yourself. If this makes you scream, you should be very angry at supermarkets."

No. Do you know how a supermarket works? They have deals with various vendors and the vendors willingly put their products in the store. The vendors also get a cut when their product sells.

The pirate bay, on the other hand, makes money by giving free access against the wishes of the original authors. Those authors get absolutely noting out of it and the "non profit" funds a very nice lifestyle.

> by giving free access against the wishes of the original authors

Here's what one of these original authors, Dan Bull, has to say: "I want to hear why Geoff Taylor is causing the closure of The Promo Bay, a wonderful feature which gives unsigned musicians the exposure that the BPI's affiliates never will. In the same week that The Pirate Bay allowed an unsigned musician to hit the charts, the BPI has had The Pirate Bay blocked - supposedly to protect the interests of artists like me. It is bullshit. We don't need the BPI"[1]

Some stats about Dan's campaign.

In 3 days TPB = 55k unique visits for Dan's landing website from which 10k unique people clicked on paid links generating potentially (probably) thousands of pounds worth of revenue for the media industry.

More than double the number of people who clicked on a free download link, clicked on a paid download link[2].

1: http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/press/releases/2012/apr/30/pir...

2: http://itsdanbull.com/single/

I was not commenting about the cash flow from producer to customer when I posted. I wanted to highlight that there are a lot of intermediates who bring no value (or little) whatsoever to the end user. Supermarkets basically charge 30% of the full price or more just to have your CD/DVD/Video Game in their shelves. Do they deserve that much of YOUR money ? They usually make more money than the artists/creators in the first place.

Of course, you can say the value of a supermarket is to bring your product's awareness to the mass market. Which is very true, because it gains a lot of visibility.

And that's exactly what something like TPB does: it gives visibility to the different creations. It's just like radio: you get to enjoy free music, with ads. Only a small minority will actually buy the CD and go to the concert, but this is still worth it. TPB a radio for files. Whether they pay the creators or not is irrelevant. It still provides "value" to the creators in the first place by spreading their creations in the Netspace.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact